March to rehabilitate bonded labourers
By Express News Service | Published: 23rd November 2013 08:07 AM |
The Unorganised Workers’ Federation held a protest march in the city on Friday demanding that the government recognise the existence of bonded labour system and take steps to rehabilitate such workers.
The march started from Pallavaram and finally culminated at Valluvar Kottam. It is part of the State-wide protest seeking the government’s attention towards their plight. The march began at Tiruchy on Nov 5.
“Grant us the basic rights, which will help us educate our children. We do not want out children to end up as quarry workers,” said an erstwhile bonded labourer.
Representing a group of organisations, the marchers put forth a set of demands before the Registrar of SHRC. He assured to look into the issues.
According to Arul, a member of Free Bonded Labourers Organisation, “The State should recognise that bonded labourers exists and their proper rehabilitation is the need of the hour. The released bonded labourers should be granted their basic rights.” Stating that the previous DMK government had failed to uplift the downtrodden by not releasing a majority of the funds allotted for Adi Dravida Community Welfare, the petitioners urged the AIADMK government to take steps to guarantee them their basic rights. A chunk of the protestors were from the Irular community and quarry workers. Over 2,000 people from Salem, Villupuram, Ariyalur, Kancheepuram, Perambalur and Tiruchy took part.